Confucius Institute Chief Visits New Branch at Birzeit University
Birzeit University President Khalil Hindi met with the Director-General of Hanban and Chief Executive of the Confucius Institute Headquarters Ms. Xu Lin on October 22, 2013. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Republic of China Office in Palestine, Birzeit University Vice President for Academic Affairs Henry Giacaman and Birzeit University Vice President for Advancement Ghassan Khatib. The parties discussed spheres of cooperation, as well as mechanisms to promote Chinese-Palestinian relations via university students and employees.
In his welcome address, Hindi expressed his pleasure at the opening of a new branch of the Confucius Institute at the university that will strengthen relations with the East, particularly with China.
"We aspire to acquaint our students and teachers about the Chinese language and culture, as we are fully aware of the importance of opening channels of communication and cooperation,” President Hindi said. “As part of our gratitude for China's position towards the Palestinian issue and its continued support for Palestinian rights, we are strongly committed to building bridges of understanding and cooperation. "
Ms. Lin emphasized China's and the Institute’s interest in the Palestinian cause, pointing out that it is high time to strengthen relations between the two countries and get to know other cultures. She added: "We can start with small steps towards the establishment of a new branch of Confucius Institute, by offering Chinese language courses on the basis of an exchange of professors and then move to offering a Bachelor’s Program in the Chinese language at a later stage." Lin also expressed readiness to receive Birzeit professors in China and to train them to teach the Chinese language at Birzeit University - a milestone for the establishment of the Confucius Institute in the coming years.
The visit was concluded with a campus tour which included the chemistry lab at the Faculty of Science and the University Museum.
The Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters is a nongovernmental and nonprofit organization affiliated with the Ministry of Education of China. Under Xu Lin’s leadership, Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters has been committed to making Chinese language and culture teaching resources and services available to the world, meeting the demands of overseas Chinese learners, and contributing to the formation of a world of cultural diversity and harmony.